Pretty rough couple of weeks in K-pop, but there were a couple of interesting releases where I could understand their appeal to others at least.
So!YoON! (SE SO NEON) (Feat. BTS’s RM) – “Smoke Sprite”
When it works it really works, with that deep-fried sounding chorus being uniquely appealing, but the majority of it kinda just drags along. Even as somebody who likes both of these artists, it’s difficult to see myself coming back to it a ton.
Jimin (BTS) – “Set Me Free Pt.2”
The epic-sounding instrumental to start this off got me a bit hyped, which was then immediately killed by the signature HYBE vocal effects and an overall vibe that reminded me of Chanyeol’s “let me do some hip-hop today” from Unpretty Rapstar 2.
Kim Jae Hwan – “Spring Breeze”
One of those songs that’s solid enough for fans to get into, but a neutral is likely to forget about sooner than later. For a moment there, it really had a chance to go for it in the chorus, but it backs off instead.
YEEUN – “Strange Way To Love”
She’s still very pretty.
BOBBY (Feat. SOLE) – “Drowning”
Would’ve been a perfect easy listening track without the vocal effects that run counter to the whole vibe of the song. While it’s something that would be ignored by everybody if it was released by an artist on Mirrorball Music, it’s still a nice enough groove.
MAMAMOO+ – “Chico Malo”
Never have I thought what pansori needed was trap beats, and yet people keep trying it. Honestly, it speaks to the charisma that Solar and Moonbyul have, as well as the allure of gayageum to my ears, that it all still manages to make this a solid offering.
Sunmi & BE’O – “Lights Out”
I know I called Jimin’s “Like Crazy” vibey music that becomes borderline background music over time, but the production of that was still above this effort, which is also harmless but is something you definitely would hear as white noise in a shopping mall elevator.
KINGDOM – “Dystopia”
I will always post them because of the effort they put into their concept, and I think they deserve more hype than they get, but even the music video took a step back with this. Making something with traditional instruments sound this unappealing to me is remarkable.